J.J. Cale
Breezin At The Cafe – The 1988 Broadcast

Label: Goldfish Records
Release: 7 Oktober 2013

The sad and wholly unexpected news that musician, composer and performer – and the man who was ranked as highly as Jimi Hendrix as an electric guitarist (by no less a talent than Neil Young) – J.J. Cale had passed away following a fatal heart attack sent shock-waves through the music community recently. Cale was the real deal when it came to the over-used phrase ‘musicians’ musician’ – a fact reinforced by the number of tributes that rolled in from other performers following the tragic news.

J.J. Cale begun his recording career in the late 1960s, but following a lack of any recognition towards the end of the decade was planning to give up playing and concentrate on engineering and production. Then he heard a version of his song ‘After Midnight’ on the radio, performed by no other than Eric Clapton and his mind was changed. Instead he put out a number of quite remarkable country-tinged, delightfully laid back collections of songs throughout that decade and composed classic after classic – ‘Cocaine’, ‘Magnolia’, ‘Call Me The Breeze’, ‘Crazy Mama’, the list is endless – which he both recorded himself and gave to others to do likewise.

This 1988 radio broadcast, transmitted live from the ‘Fine Line Music Cafe’, Minneapolis, Minnesota, on 5th September that year, finds J.J. in spectacular form. Despite, at this time, not having released a studio album for five years, he performs a rip-roaring set complete with full band and shares vocals on a number of tracks with veteran Cale band member Christine Lakeland. A musician and songwriter in her own name too, Christine gets to perform three of her own compositions during the show – not bad when one considers what a rich back catalogue J.J. already had by this juncture. But then Ms. Lakeland was Mr. Cale’s long term partner, and more recently, his wife.

The set-list played on this glorious late summer evening features many of the Cale classics mentioned above and a host of others to make for a show of barely paralleled excellence. However, three bonus cuts are included here, going back to a previous radio broadcast from the mid-1970s when – treading the boards at the Cain’s ballroom in his home town of Tulsa on New Year’s Eve 1975 – J.J. Cale performed, amongst a full set that night too, remarkable versions of ‘Cajun Moon’, ‘Sensitive Kind’ and ‘Lies’.

Track Listings
1. After Midnight
2. The Old Man and Me
3. Deep Dark Dungeon
4. Drifter’s Wife
5. Cocaine
6. Call Me The Breeze
7. Money Talks
8. Everything Makes Me Nervous
9. Detail
10. Temptations
11. Crazy Mama
12. 13 Days
13. Hard Times
14. Magnolia
15. Cajun Moon
16. Sensitive Kind
17. Lies

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